Knife crimes see dozens injured as number of Crawley offences rises

Chief Inspector Justina Beeken ENGSUS00120131028175557
Chief Inspector Justina Beeken ENGSUS00120131028175557

The number of crimes involving the use of knives has risen in the past year.

Figures released as part of a Freedom of Information request showed the number of people injured during assaults in which knives were used was five times higher in 2013/14 than in the previous year.

In 2012/13, a total of 50 crimes involving the use of a knife or other sharp implement, such as a razor, were dealt with by Crawley police.

That figure included one attempted murder, one threat to kill and the use of a knife during a rape.

In 2013/14, that figure rose to 69 and included three assaults on police officers and 21 assaults which left the victims injured.

When it came to dealing with knife-related offences, the number of people charged also rose.

Of the people arrested in 2012/13, 35 were charged, eight received cautions, two were summonsed and one received a final warning.

Four of the offences were dealt with through community resolution, a method which sees the offender apologise to their victim, make reparations, such as fixing any damage caused, or give financial compensation.

In 2013/14, 48 people were charged, 15 received cautions, two received youth cautions and four were dealt with through community resolution.

Chief Inspector Justina Beeken, Crawley district policing commander, said: “Knife crime is something we take very seriously and would like to eradicate from our streets in Crawley.

“It is imperative that we educate young people of the possible consequences of carrying certain bladed items of any kind. Not only can it be illegal but the repercussions can have devastating effects.

“We take all incidents where any weapons are involved extremely seriously and will not tolerate any knife crime in our town and community, and we do not want knives to be carried for use in any crime.”

Sussex Police would not comment when asked why some knife crimes only resulted in a caution, saying sentencing was a matter for the courts.